Picture of Halley's Comet against the Milky Way in 1986. Courtesy of NASA and he Kuiper Airborne Observatory.

Picture of Halley’s Comet against the Milky Way in 1986. Courtesy of NASA and the Kuiper Airborne Observatory.

2013 is shaping up to be a very interesting year astronomically. This coming Friday there is an extremely close (about two Earth diameters) fly-by of an asteroid: DA-14. This asteroid will make the closest pass of any object of its size known to science in recent history. Prior to the last 25 years or so, astronomers did not have the optical capability to find such objects.  This object is similar in size to the asteroid that caused the Tunguska event in 1908 which leveled thousands of square miles of forest in Siberia. As to DA-14 hitting the Earth, I advise checking out this NASA video: http://www.space.com/19432-close-approach-of-asteroid-2012-da14-fear-vs-fact-video.html. I hope NASA is correct in their calculations! I think they are.

In March Comet Pan STARRS will be making its debut from out of the Oort cloud and starting in October astronomers expect Comet ISON to put on quite a show for Northern Hemisphere viewers. The first thing that is interesting about all three of these objects is that they were unknown to mankind until recently. Asteroid DA-14 was discovered by astronomers in Spain in February 24, 2012, Comet Pan STARRS was discovered on June 6, 2011 by astronomers in Hawaii at the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (STARRS), and Comet ISON (International Scientific Optical Network- the name of the Russian group making the discovery) was discovered on 21 September 2012 by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok in Russia.

In past years many comets were known to come back into the inner solar system at periodic intervals. Probably the most famous of these comets is Halley’s Comet which has whizzed past the Sun every 76 years. It may not make the same splash anymore since the Sun vaporizes some of the gases in each flyby of our star (most recently 1986) and the comet has been getting dimmer. Comets are on severe elliptical orbits around the Sun and Halley’s Comet is about 35 times the distance the Earth is from the Sun at the farthest part of its orbit. I wonder if comets can accretize or add gases to their masses when they are out beyond the planets or do they just get old? “Accretion refers to the collision and sticking of cooled microscopic dust and ice particles electrostatically, in protoplanetary discs and gas giant protoplanet systems, eventually leading to planetesimals which gravitationally accrete more small particles and other planetesimals.”  The planets are on far more circular orbits around the Sun than comets.

So the three celestial objects mention above (Asteroid DA-14, Comet ISON and Comet PanSTARRS) were all discovered recently. Is this because of vastly improved telescopic capabilities? Most definitely! But is it possible that something else is going on here? To my knowledge it is fairly unusual for there to be two visible to the naked eye comets in the space of one year. In 2012 in the Southern Hemisphere Comet Garradd was visible and in 2011 Comet Lovejoy. Comet Elinen turned out to be a big disappointment in 2011 and did not produce the expected coma or tail. Comets are extremely unpredictable as to how bright they will be because it is unknown how much of the trapped gases within a comet will be released when they come closest to the sun. Apparently there is another comet visible in the Southern Hemisphere this year, the Comet Lemmon, a green comet.

What if (this is pure speculation) our Solar System is moving through an area of the galaxy which has more than the usual amount of debris (rocks and icy particles= asteroids and comets)?  Currently most of the larger known asteroids orbit the Sun in an area between Mars and Jupiter and all of the periodic comets have those elliptical orbits which take them out beyond the planets into the Kuiper Belt. If our Solar System is moving into a more densely populated area of the galaxy does that put Earth in a greater danger of collision? In my entire life I have only seen two visible to the naked eye comets and if both ISON and PanSTARRS put on a show this year that will be quite unusual. Last year I was privileged to see a fireball in the beginning of March and then became much more aware of the fireball phenomena, a small asteroid that comes into the Earth’s atmosphere but bigger and slower than the common shooting star which might be an object the size of a grain of sand.

The other issue about comets I’d like to touch upon here is a confluence of science and folklore. In a previous post I mentioned the theory of panspermia. It was there noted that a heat analysis of the dust from Halley’s comet “matched that of bacteria and nothing else”. Viruses and bacteria, particularly anaerobic bacteria, can live in space. The appearance of comets in the heavens has been linked throughout history with plagues and extinctions on Earth.  Most notable are the appearance and partial break-up of Encke’s Comet in 1910 (closest approach to Earth October 27 1914) and the Pandemic Spanish Influenza of 1917 through 1919. It seems the Earth went through the dust cloud left by Encke’s Comet. I’d like to recommend the excellent and thorough article on this subject by Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D., and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Ph.D. in the Journal of Cosmology.

So can we expect to be hit with more space rocks and ice? And is there a plague on the way? Of course, the answer is yes and yes, but when is the better question.

02/22/13 Watch this! http://vimeo.com/59571509 PanStarrs and Lemmon in the Southern Hemisphere. PanSTARRS is coming up to the Northern Hemisphere in March.

04/21/13 Update:  A few weeks ago Kate Valentine had Neil deGrasse Tyson on her UFO Show. She read a question from me asking him if it were possible, in view of the increasing number of so-called “February fireballs”, that we were moving into a more active part of the galaxy. He answered in the affirmative. Today, Facebook friend, Andrew Ackerley, brought this Argentinian video to my attention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?client=mv-google&gl=DK&hl=en&v=nTdbROLB5pQ&nomobile=1 Clearly we seem to be seeing more of these things. Or are we just more aware? You be the judge.

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Life as we don’t know it…

If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black…it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white. ~William James

At this point in time on this planet Earth millions of people are wondering if we are alone in the Universe. They think about this when they go out at night and look upward at the glistening jewels of the Milky Way, our galaxy. They ponder it occasionally as they lay in bed waiting for sleep to find them. They eat up science fiction movies about alien invasions and whisper how their brother, aunt, neighbor or co-worker saw an unidentified flying object last summer.

As of January 17, 2013 there are 859 confirmed planets and 1235 candidate planets orbiting other Suns in our galaxy. Of these, 60 or so are Earth-like rocky planets.  NASA scientists working with the Kepler telescope recently said there may be 50 billion planets in our Milky Way alone. Some of these scientists are searching for a Goldilocks planet, a planet just the right size and temperature to harbor life as we know it. But what about life as we don’t know it?

The new Hubble Extreme Deep Field is the deepest view into the Universe we have. From what has been observed we know that there are at least 176 billion galaxies in the Universe, and maybe even close to a trillion galaxies in the observable Universe when the Hubble study concludes. What about the unobservable Universe? Our galaxy is not considered to be a huge galaxy only small to medium, so if there are 50 billion planets in our galaxy and more than 200 billion galaxies (maybe a trillion) how many planets does that likely provide. Fifty Billion times two hundred billion, my mind boggles at this point. Is it possible that life as we know it exists out there in some (many) of these places? But what about life as we don’t know it?

What about extremophiles on Earth? These are examples of life on our planet of which most of us could not conceive. There are 10 foot long tubeworms at the bottom of the sea living in absolute darkness on thermal vents shooting out highly pressurized water in the temperature range of 240° Fahrenheit. Before seacraft were developed that could plummet into the ocean’s pressurized and crushing depths, most if not all oceanographers would have told you that conditions at these deep thermal vents could not support life when in fact they are teeming with life. And so what about life as we don’t know it elsewhere in our solar system, our galaxy, our Universe, the Multiverse?

There is a theory called panspermia which contends that life did not originate on Earth but was transmitted from elsewhere in space. In this theory, life is dispersed throughout the Universe by meteors and space rocks containing microbes and/or amino acids and colliding with planets bringing the building blocks of evolution for life as we know it. Scientists have evidence of a heavy bombardment of earth by meteors about four billion years ago. There was probably a another planet in the solar system located between Mars and Jupiter in the orbit of the current asteroid belt. The destruction of this planet could have been the cause of the heavy bombardment.

German scientists sent bacterial spores mixed with red sandstone into space on a Russian rocket and those spores were returned back to earth and proved to be still viable. Bacterial spores can remain viable for as much as 250 million years under adverse conditions on Earth. On Earth, in the Arctic regions, the reasonably common permafrost is known to harbor bacterial spores and eukaryotic cells which are viable over thousands of years. When comets pass the sun they bring with them icy particles from beyond the major planets. An analysis of the heat radiation from dust particles from Halley’s Comet matched that of bacteria and nothing else, so the evidence for panspermia is mounting. By extrapolation so is evidence for life as we know it outside our solar system. But what about life as we don’t know it?

Well some of the answer to the question lies with one’s definition of life. Many define life as respiration. Respiration is ” the process by which organisms exchange gases, especially oxygen and carbon dioxide, with the environment. In air-breathing vertebrates, respiration takes place in the lungs. In fish and many invertebrates, respiration takes place through the gills. Respiration in green plants occurs during photosynthesis.”  But others including myself define life as consciousness, particularly self awareness.

There is a prevalent theory that the Earth, our Mother, is a living being. It is called the Gaia Hypothesis and I subscribe to it. But what if the heavenly bodies are conscious beings? Now we are getting closer to what could be part of life as we don’t know it. Vaguely related to this, because of their ubiquity in the Universe, are dark matter and dark energy which astrophysicists believe compose the majority of the Universe. Could the dark matter exist on a different dimensional plane or at a different frequency unmeasurable by our instrumentation? Is dark energy the life force of the Universe? I cannot answer these questions, but I do like to think about them. For if life is consciousness and consciousness is non-local then life is everywhere in the Multiverse and beyond.

Why do I write about this you may ask? There are at least two reasons. The first is to change the minds and hearts that harbor antiquated paradigms about the Earth being the center of the Universe and the only place capable of nurturing life. The second reason is because when I think about this I feel so ecstatic I want to sing along with Dominico Medugno (below). If you think about this seriously ten minutes a week, I’ll bet it will change your view of your life for the better and your place in the Universe forever.

Basil Bristow, who has channeled several beings with great wisdom has emailed me the following message from Pretorius, who is speaking through him currently, regarding my blog post above:

January 20, 2012

Today I heard from a reader:  Millions of people on Earth are wondering if we are alone in the Universe. They think about this when they go out at night and look upward at the glistening jewels of the Milky Way; where, as of January 17, 2013, scientists report there are 859 confirmed planets and 1235 candidate planets orbiting in our galaxy. I wondered if Pretorius would care to comment; here is his reply:-Basil

The scientific community on Earth; while they are to be admired for their advances during the past 100 Earth years, in reality are still learning their A.B.C.s which is akin to children in 1st Grade.  However, advancement is advancement and I again congratulate them.  But, I must also add that what is done with their newly acquired knowledge, and how well it is administrated, remains to be seen.  Indeed, it is as if the Earth stands on the brink of self-destruction (as has happened on Earth in the past) or if common sense becomes the watchword.

Now, regarding the postulations regarding Earth-sized planets that could maintain life in both your own Milky Way galaxy and in the Universal cosmos in general.

First, as I have said many times, mankind must get away from considering “life” as life that requires air, water and food … as is needed by the population on Earth.  If that word “life” is to remain your criteria for defining “life” throughout the Universe then your consciousness will remain extremely limited.

“Life” as construed by the Universe is that which contains the essence of The Supreme 1 and, of course, that includes everything.  Whether that essence needs air, water and food to survive is immaterial – what is material is that the essence has the “breath” of life given to it by The Supreme 1 – and, I assure you that everything in the Universe has received that “breath” of life.

To answer the question as to whether or not the human creature that lives on Earth has “Brothers and Sisters” living elsewhere in the Universe then the answer is yes, it does.  There are countless areas in the Universe where such “life” exists.  It would seem scientifically logical that, providing Earthly human-life does not annihilate itself, then “Earthlings” may one day meet colonies of those brothers and sisters.  However, if I may quote an Earthly phrase – “Don’t hold your breath,” for that day is, without a doubt, far, far into the future.

However, I must add a qualification to that statement because many of the human-like societies elsewhere in the Universe are more advanced spiritually, scientifically  and in general knowledge.  But still, many other human-life societies are not as advanced as you on Earth.

I do not make a practice of predicting the future but it would seem to be logical that at least one or two of those more advanced societies would visit Earth before Earthlings visits them.  Indeed, such visitations have occurred many times in the past and Earth’s humanity has benefited spiritually, physically and intellectually from those visits.

It is spiritual growth that will define Earth’s humanity – not scientific  growth (although that is most certainly important!) for it will be the spiritualness of Earth’s humanity as a whole that will define its longevity.

Thus, if I may, I urge you all to go within and bring forth the love and peace that has lain imprisoned in the human breast for so long.  Let it free and bring new “life” to your Earth – not just life that requires air, water and food, but life which blossoms on its spirituality.

Until next time,

Pretorius

Update 04/14/13 Shadow Biosphere